Ed J.
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July 18, 2018
La Jolla is NOT a city, it is a neighborhood in the City of San Diego.
Rich and soulful Mexican cuisine at El Jardín in Point Loma
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 07/18/18 - 11:45 AM | 804 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, and Rise & Shine founder Johan Engman, collaborated on the design elements to bring their shared vision of El Jardín to life through bold pieces and accents that recall the restaurant’s culinary heritage.
Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, and Rise & Shine founder Johan Engman, collaborated on the design elements to bring their shared vision of El Jardín to life through bold pieces and accents that recall the restaurant’s culinary heritage.
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The menu of El Jardín reflects the experience of Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins growing up between San Diego, Tijuana and Guadalajara. It features regional dishes refined and reinterpreted with both indigenous Mexican ingredients and local produce, including the restaurant’s edible garden.
The menu of El Jardín reflects the experience of Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins growing up between San Diego, Tijuana and Guadalajara. It features regional dishes refined and reinterpreted with both indigenous Mexican ingredients and local produce, including the restaurant’s edible garden.
slideshow
Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins and Rise & Shine Restaurant Group have taken a contemporary approach to regional Mexican cuisine at El Jardín in Liberty Station.  "The food that we’re creating at El Jardín is truly a reflection of my life experiences, where I’ve traveled and all the flavors that I’ve ever experienced,” said chef Zepeda-Wilkins. “I don't put myself or my cuisine in any particular box: food has no rules. “We are making food that some people would have maybe never otherwise eaten. Mexico's cuisine is a mestizo cuisine and our menu showcases all of these nuances, which make Mexican food such a rich and soulful cuisine.”  Zepeda-Wilkins refers to El Jardin as a “matriarchal” establishment.  “We are preparing and being inspired by the food that the women in our lives, as well as the women across Mexico and generations, have prepared for us,” she said.  Located at 2865 Sims Road, El Jardin offers expansive indoor-outdoor spaces.  “When I was pulling together my thoughts on what I wanted the space to look like, I had all my favorite spots in Mexico in mind and wanted to recreate them for people to experience here,” said Zepeda-Wilkins. “From designing the purse stands myself and having my husband manufacture them, to having my kids here the first week running food, El Jardín is deeply personal. I really think of El Jardín as my home.” The menu of the new restaurant reflects the experience of Zepeda-Wilkins growing up between San Diego, Tijuana and Guadalajara. It features regional dishes refined and reinterpreted with both indigenous Mexican ingredients and local produce, including the restaurant’s edible garden. Zepeda-Wilkins' respect for whole-animal butchery is evident in her offerings: Smaller plates such as Sonoran scallop aquachile; grilled bone marrow and crispy octopus with stone-ground heirloom corn tortillas and carne apache (aged rib eye tartare); larger mains such as cazuela de chilorio slow-cooked pork shoulder, as well as a “chef’s choice” menu available nightly at the six-person chef’s counter. Bar snacks such as fideo seco (spaghettini with chili adobo and longaniza dried shrimp from Valladolid) further reflect Zepeda-Wilkins’ dexterity with reimagining classic dishes for a contemporary audience.  Desserts showcase Zepeda-Wilkins’ early years working in pastry and include a sobre el arcoiris, a play on an iconic, multi-colored Mexican cookie. Weekend brunch similarly highlights Zepeda-Wilkins' multi-faceted culinary expertise with breads and pastries joining the savory offerings. Agave spirits are central to the bar program with an extensive selection of mezcal and tequila, as well as lesser-known spirits such as sotol, Bacanora and a Mexican sake. Complementing the garden-driven cocktails from consulting beverage director Christian Siglin (Bracero, Cutwater Spirits, Craft & Commerce), Mexican and local craft beers will also be available. Advanced sommelier Molly Brooks worked closely with Zepeda-Wilkins to curate a concise list of wines from Mexican producers cultivating grapes in Mexico and California, as well as international wine makers with an emphasis on female producers.  Zepeda-Wilkins and Rise & Shine founder, Johan Engman, collaborated on the design elements to bring their shared vision of El Jardín to life through bold pieces and accents that recall the restaurant’s culinary heritage. Local artist Gloria Muriel’s expansive mural showcasing “Ojo de Dios” serves as a focal point for the restaurant, while bull skulls branded with vibrant Huichol-beaded art in the Wixarika-style brighten the interior.  The restaurant space also features handmade chairs and amber leather and metal bar stools designed by Guadalajaran artisans, a living succulent wall and hardwood floors ribboned with turquoise hexagonal tiles. Outside, an expansive patio is ensconced with multicolor bougainvilleas and custom wrought iron fixtures, creating a relaxed alcove. An adjacent outdoor lounge and 12-person table within the edible garden offer further respite for locals and visitors to sip cocktails and savor Zepeda-Wilkins’ expressive cuisine within the warm, 130-seat restaurant. El Jardin Where: 2865 Sims Road, Liberty Station. Hours: Mondays to Fridays 5 to 10 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 4 to 10 p.m. Info: eljardinrestaurantbar.com, 619-795-2322.
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July 18, 2018
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San Diego named most scenic West Coast city in Expedia poll
by CYNTHIA ROBERTSON
Published - 07/18/18 - 08:05 AM | 2018 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Couples watch the day end at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Couples watch the day end at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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San Diego is known as America’s Finest City, but what exactly makes it the finest? The climate is often the answer, which does ring true. A poll by Expedia.com asked more than 1,000 Americans to name the most scenic West Coast cities. San Diego won the top spot. Lily Rogers, writer of “21 of the Most Scenic West Coast Cities,” an article for the Expedia Viewfinder blog, explained that she had pulled from two questions on the survey for her article. First, the people were asked which region of the country they most wanted to visit. The majority chose the West Coast. Second, an open-ended question was included asking them which destination on the West Coast was the most beautiful. San Diego in general was named most often, with some answers calling out particular places like Del Mar. The questions on the survey implied that the people had been to their suggested location before. Other areas such as Sunset Cliffs or La Jolla were not specifically called out by those polled, explained Rogers. “San Diego County houses so much beautiful coastline, visitors can tailor their experience to their likes. That’s one of the things that make it so special,” said Rogers, herself a San Diego resident. Rogers has many favorite places along the coast, including Harbor Island. “The view of the skyline and the sailboats bobbing in the water shows San Diego in its prettiest light. It’s so quintessentially San Diego – a beautiful space reaching right down to the water,” Rogers said. Having Sunday brunch at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island is a San Diego must for Rogers. “Those views of the bay from the huge display windows are unforgettable,” she said. Rogers’ other favorite San Diego coastal scenery icons include the vantage point from Centennial Park in Coronado, sunsets at the Ocean Beach Pier, and La Jolla Shores. Edna Gutierrez, public relations manager at San Diego Tourism Authority is not at all surprised by the poll’s results. “With 70 miles of breathtaking beaches, the question is ‘why not San Diego?’” she said. “The diversity of San Diego’s offerings is what sets it apart from other destinations and this is not the first honor San Diego has garnered.” Gutierrez explained that in March of this year, Family Vacation Critic named Coronado as one of the Best Beaches for Families in 2018. In October 2017, San Diego ranked No. 1 for Best Beach Destination and Year Round Perfect Weather, according to the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine’s “America’s Favorite Cities” issue. In that same month, Conde Nast Traveler reader’s choice awards ranked San Diego in the Top 10 Best Big Cities in the U.S. Just a month earlier, Sunset.com had listed San Diego as No. 1 in its list of 20 Best California Beach Vacation Spots. “Word of mouth is very powerful, but also the San Diego Tourism Authority’s marketing initiatives and programs position San Diego as an ultimate destination,” Gutierrez said. “The San Diego brand story is now being told across multiple media plant-rooms, channels, storytellers and influencers around the world,” she said. Gutierrez explained that potential travelers need tangible reasons and iconic imagery that clearly communicate why San Diego is a must-see destination. “For these long-haul markets, we promote San Diego as California’s Beach City,” said Gutierrez. But what ultimately garners San Diego the top spot for the most scenic city on the West Coast? Gutierrez stated that it was the people who help make San Diego iconic. “There is a symbiotic relationship between those who live and work here, and those who visit. San Diegans are the ultimate face of San Diego and maintaining that friendly vibe will ensure visitors want to come back,” Gutierrez said. For Rogers, that friendly vibe in SoCal culture is perfectly embodied at the Ocean Beach Pier. “You’ll likely see in one snapshot: hula hoopers and skateboarders in their swim suits, beach cruisers, buskers, surfers, colorful beach umbrellas, strolling beachgoers enjoying frozen yogurt, open-air bars, and fishers on the pier,” Rogers said.
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San Diego named most scenic West Coast city in Expedia poll
by CYNTHIA ROBERTSON
Published - 07/18/18 - 08:00 AM | 1529 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The golden hour after the sun sets at the South Mission Beach Jetty. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The golden hour after the sun sets at the South Mission Beach Jetty. / Photo by Thomas Melville
slideshow
San Diego is known as America’s Finest City, but what exactly makes it the finest? The climate is often the answer, which does ring true. A poll by Expedia.com asked more than 1,000 Americans to name the most scenic West Coast cities. San Diego won the top spot. Lily Rogers, writer of “21 of the Most Scenic West Coast Cities,” an article for the Expedia Viewfinder blog, explained that she had pulled from two questions on the survey for her article. First, the people were asked which region of the country they most wanted to visit. The majority chose the West Coast. Second, an open-ended question was included asking them which destination on the West Coast was the most beautiful. San Diego in general was named most often, with some answers calling out particular places like Del Mar. The questions on the survey implied that the people had been to their suggested location before. Other areas such as Sunset Cliffs or La Jolla were not specifically called out by those polled, explained Rogers. “San Diego County houses so much beautiful coastline, visitors can tailor their experience to their likes. That’s one of the things that make it so special,” said Rogers, herself a San Diego resident. Rogers has many favorite places along the coast, including Harbor Island. “The view of the skyline and the sailboats bobbing in the water shows San Diego in its prettiest light. It’s so quintessentially San Diego – a beautiful space reaching right down to the water,” Rogers said. Having Sunday brunch at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island is a San Diego must for Rogers. “Those views of the bay from the huge display windows are unforgettable,” she said. Rogers’ other favorite San Diego coastal scenery icons include the vantage point from Centennial Park in Coronado, sunsets at the Ocean Beach Pier, and La Jolla Shores. Edna Gutierrez, public relations manager at San Diego Tourism Authority is not at all surprised by the poll’s results. “With 70 miles of breathtaking beaches, the question is ‘why not San Diego?’” she said. “The diversity of San Diego’s offerings is what sets it apart from other destinations and this is not the first honor San Diego has garnered.” Gutierrez explained that in March of this year, Family Vacation Critic named Coronado as one of the Best Beaches for Families in 2018. In October 2017, San Diego ranked No. 1 for Best Beach Destination and Year Round Perfect Weather, according to the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine’s “America’s Favorite Cities” issue. In that same month, Conde Nast Traveler reader’s choice awards ranked San Diego in the Top 10 Best Big Cities in the U.S. Just a month earlier, Sunset.com had listed San Diego as No. 1 in its list of 20 Best California Beach Vacation Spots. “Word of mouth is very powerful, but also the San Diego Tourism Authority’s marketing initiatives and programs position San Diego as an ultimate destination,” Gutierrez said. “The San Diego brand story is now being told across multiple media plant-rooms, channels, storytellers and influencers around the world,” she said. Gutierrez explained that potential travelers need tangible reasons and iconic imagery that clearly communicate why San Diego is a must-see destination. “For these long-haul markets, we promote San Diego as California’s Beach City,” said Gutierrez. But what ultimately garners San Diego the top spot for the most scenic city on the West Coast? Gutierrez stated that it was the people who help make San Diego iconic. “There is a symbiotic relationship between those who live and work here, and those who visit. San Diegans are the ultimate face of San Diego and maintaining that friendly vibe will ensure visitors want to come back,” Gutierrez said. For Rogers, that friendly vibe in SoCal culture is perfectly embodied at the Ocean Beach Pier. “You’ll likely see in one snapshot: hula hoopers and skateboarders in their swim suits, beach cruisers, buskers, surfers, colorful beach umbrellas, strolling beachgoers enjoying frozen yogurt, open-air bars, and fishers on the pier,” Rogers said.
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